new-york

Inka Essenhigh

Deitch Projects

Inka Essenhigh came into public view a year or so ago with a set of paintings whose style seemed fully formed and almost preternaturally controlled. Her gleaming enamel surfaces, composed then and now of maybe four decorator-coordinated colors each, are generic landscapes in which are set a race of quasi-human, Bacon-goes-Disney creatures caught up in incomprehensible mechanisms of violence and pleasure, all delineated in a fluent graphic shorthand. The obscure clockwork of their actions was sometimes reminiscent of Duchamp, but might just as well have been described as an eroticized cross between Rube Goldberg and Raymond Roussel, in whose writings Michel Foucault found “not one symbol, not one proper hieroglyph in all this minuscule, measured agitation, prolix with details but sparing of adornments. Not a hidden meaning, but a secret form.” The observations might apply as well to

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